Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Boy in Blue

So bad, it's bad...

  Set in Philadelphia during the late 19th century, The Boy in Blue is Nicolas Cage's portrayal of real-life championship sculler Ned Hanlan. If only rowing were really that exciting. If you want to get an idea of what this movie is like, take the movie Rocky... replace Sylvester Stallone with Nic Cage... give him a pair of oars and send him down the Schuylkill River with a trainer old enough to have known William Penn... throw in a few training montages couple with some way out of place synthesizer music you get... a total piece of crap.

"Before baseball, football, or soccer, one sport alone captured the imagination of both rich and poor -- sculling.
The masses turned out by the thousands to cheer their heroes as they battled on the water, while gamblers won and lost fortunes on the outcome.
This is the true story of a young oarsman --
NED HANLAN."
And so begins our not-so-epic journey into the world of 19th century sculling. In the film version of the story Cage plays Ned Hanlan, a Canadian bootlegger turned sculler. After a run-in with the law, Hanlan is convinced by Bill (David Naughton) to go down to Philadelphia to compete in the International Centennial Regatta, which he won easily, thanks in part to a new type of sliding seat that no other rower was willing to try. Hanlan is approached by Colonel Knox (Christopher Plummer), the head of the local gambling scene to train and row for his interests. Knox uses his niece Margaret (Cynthia Dale) to sweeten the deal but ultimately Hanlan refuses the deal, getting the cold shoulder from Margaret and back-stabbed by his former partner Bill. After refusing to throw a race against his rival, the Australian oarsman Edward Trickett, Hanlan intentionally rams him and as a result is banned from rowing in the U.S. Hanlan then sets out to challenge Trickett for both bragging rights and the world champion title, bypassing his U.S. ban by racing in the Thames river. I'm pretty sure you can figure out who wins... If you're in the mood to watch a really bad movie, rent Drive Angry but whatever you do, don't watch this movie. It's a total waste of time... unless of course you're Canadian or something...

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